At first he saw the world as some sort of secret map through which the truth of himself might be revealed. By the light of a certain phase of the moon or some elixr comprised of horse tears and wort, he thinks, he might see. The palimpsest Ley-lines and the runes of ghosts. There are alphabets here that speak his name. Look to the courses in the beds of ancient rivers where the high-water leavings render poetries of twigs. What wisdoms are contained in these mad swirlings? Look harder. Peer deeper. Fix your eyes and blur. The known world doth scream.
He was a boy, his eyes were stolen by eagles and he was set down in a forest of rain. With a deer-antler jacknife and the tips of his fingers he taught himself the braille of tree-bark and ferns. What is a man and how do you become him? Surely the answers are here. In the craquelure patterns of ice on the mill pond, in the serrated edges of the leaves. He looks to the earth for what its masters do not give him and it is there that he weeps, it is there, at the altars of alders and oaks that he finds a semblance of the thing called God. But God, he discovers, does not manifest in light. God does not appear, He hums. The kingdom of eyes obscures the answers but somehow reveals the truth. He can feel it. He knows it’s there like a body knows when it’s not alone in the dark.
He sees, surely he sees. But it is in the dark that he begins to know. Beyond the image is the reality of being. The image is a portal through which light shines away time.
The image, the photographic image, reveals the fallacy. That which decays does not exist. And death is merely a concept of the eye.
Forty years it takes for the boy to become aware of this. Forty years wandering in the visceral desert of memory, reflections and dreams. Forty years of self-deception in the egoic haze of suicide wrought by the resin of time.
* * *
The mind is a camera that does not capture but projects. That intricate mystery of form. I made this. We. The makers of images. Films within films within films. How many layers? Schrodinger’s cat is a fish.
The camera, long touted as the surrogate to memory has been, since Niépce made it real, misused. The camera is not a means to recall the past, it is a means to experience the Now.
Look here at the burl of ocean currents and the wafting waves of heat, look at the fingerprint and the reticulated brain, look at the mountains, look at the bone, look at the calendar and the clock. Look. Don’t you see? Can’t you see? Don’t you know that God is laughing? He’s laughing with you.
Here, upon this antique map the human skull and all the planets. Round, round, sphere, sphere, curves and loops and all the labyrinths, all the roofs and walls. The master builders and their temples to the gods of eyes. All here rendered in this little world of wood.
Look. The secret to manhood is not to grow but to stay small. The secret to manhood is not to look out but look within. The secret to manhood is not to seek but merely to find. Come all to me boys and I will make you fishers of men.
o O o